"Repugnant Philosophy": Ethics, Espionage, and Covert Action

Abstract
The sources and methods of espionage, the goals and tactics of covert action, and the professional conduct of intelligence officers are matters typically hidden from public scrutiny, yet clearly worthy of public debate and philosophical attention. Recent academic studies of intelligence that have had any intentional bearing on ethics or political philosophy have largely focused on procedural questions surrounding the proper degree of oversight of intelligence agencies. But what is often missed in such examinations is substantive ethical analysis of intelligence operations themselves.
Keywords Applied Ethics  Espionage  Covert Action  CIA  KGB
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